Research

Climatic Geomorphology

Dry Andes Geomorphology 

With newly instated Argentine laws protecting many of the dry Andes, icy landscapes, there is a great impetus to identify relict vs. active ice-cored landforms. As part of a multi-university collaborative effort, UD researchers and students are identifying and mapping forms that are on or moved by perennial ice. Coupling surface-movement, meteorological, and physiographic data with surface temperature data from a network of over 70 sensors in the shallow ground allows us to identify areas of continuous and discontinuous permafrost, a key dataset necessary to separate active vs. relict geomorphic features. 

 


Climate Landscape Interactions in the Northern Cascade Range

Our current projects in the Cascade Range of Washington and northern Oregon focus on developing a better understanding of climate landscape interactions in alpine areas. Much of our work is devoted to interpreting variations in areal extent of glaciers over time in terms of both anthropogenic and natural climate forcings.  To this end, we rely on a variety of different methods and data including lichenometry, climate modeling, remote sensing, and tree-ring records to help us improve our interpretations the climatic, glacial, and geomorphic history of this region. 

 


Rates and Spatial Patterns of Riverbank Erosion

For nearly a decade, UD geosciences faculty and students have worked on various geomorphic and sedimentologic studies of the gravel-bed, bedrock South River in Virginia. We have used a wide variety of geospatial techniques and and traditional geologic field work to map the nature and spatial scales of erosion and deposition along the 24 miles of this mercury-contaminated system. Ongoing research attempts to improve our understanding of patterns of erosion and deposition and the timescales for which contaminant move into and out of this system. 

 


Geoarchaeology

Earthwork Degradation

Using mathematical models of land-surface evolution coupled with high resolution terrestrial laser scanner data and aerial imagery, we study how human-made landforms change over time. Our interest is not only in the nature of understanding the complexity of what can been seen on the land-surface today, but is uniquely tied to developing a better understanding of original forms and the energetics and the formation processes of the archaeological record as these forms degrade via natural and human induced process. Currently, we study earthworks in the mid-continent and earthen forts constructed to protect our national in the war of 1812. 

 




Contract Archaeology in Delaware

Collaborative research with Dr. Darrin Lowery prides an opportunity to work on contract archaeology projects in the state of Delaware. Our primary focus is to train and employ students in a wide variety of roles including field work, laboratory, and GIS activities. Our contract work is not only in the service to the students and broader support of preservation, but also serves as an opportunity for continued exploration of the surface geology in the Delmarva region.